Tenth Justice

Lincoln Caplan, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-394-55523-2
Caplan's meticulous expose throws a spotlight on a drama hidden from public view. He charges that the Reagan administration has compromised the independence of the Solicitor General, the lawyer who is responsible for recommending which cases should be heard by the Supreme Court and for shaping the government's legal position on cases before the Court. Archibald Cox and Thurgood Marshall are among those who have held the post of Solicitor General, sometimes called the ""tenth justice.'' Caplan maintains that Solicitor General Charles Fried and, before him, Rex Lee, acted as mouthpieces for Reagan, pushing his social agenda, which calls for banning abortion, promoting prayer in the schools and ending school busing and affirmative action. A former White House Fellow and author of The Insanity Defense and the Trial of John W. Hinckley, Jr., Caplan implicates Edwin Meese and assistant attorney general for civil rights, William Reynolds, in the attack on the Solicitor General's traditional role. As Senate debate on Robert Bork's nomination gets under way, this dispassionately written study should make news. First serial to the New Yorker. (October 30)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Paperback - 343 pages - 978-0-394-75955-5
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